Migration Matters

Botswana entry visa

Eligibility for a Botswana Visa

All Citizens of Commonwealth countries do not require visa except those from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. These include those who have permits, but decide to stay outside the country for more than six months are required to apply for a visa when they come back to Botswana. Foreign nationals whose countries have signed a Visa Abolition Agreement with Botswana are also not required to apply for a visa.

List of countries whose nationals/citizens do not require a visa for entry into Botswana include:

  • All Commonwealth countries (except for Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka).
  • Angola, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba,Czech Republic, Denmark,  Dominican Republic, Estonia, Federal Republic of Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Holy See, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway and Colonies, Oman, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Sudan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe

NB: All countries that are not listed above, require visa for entry into Botswana.

For further details see, https://www.gov.bw/visa-applications/visa-application-study-visa or https://www.onlinevisa.com/botswana-visa/

Requirements for applying for a Botswana Visa

  1. Fully completed study visa application document
  2. Certified/notarised Passport copy - must contain passport numbers, date of birth, expiry date of the passport etc.
  3. Two identical coloured and clear passport size photos (with a white background)
  4. Invitation letter from the host institution (invitation letter from the Office of International Education & Partnerships)
  5. Copy of airline travel itinerary
  6. Admission letter
  7. Sponsorship letter and bank statements of the sponsor (at least 1 month bank statement for self-sponsored students)

Where to apply for a visa

Botswana has 20 diplomatic missions in 17 countries around the world where visa applications can be made: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Japan, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa (Pretoria), Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States (New York), Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Republic of South Africa transit visa

Countries that require a transit visa from the Republic of South Africa to Botswana include:

Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Congo Kinshasa, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leon, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, Ukraine and Russia.

How long does it take to get a visa?

A Botswana visa takes 7 - 14 working days to process.

Study permit and waiver

Application for a study permit or waiver will be processed only after admission and proof of academic registration at the University of Botswana.

Exchange students staying only one semester or up to 6 months need to apply for a residence waiver.

Requirements for a residence waiver include:

  1. Copy of UB admission letter
  2. Copy of sponsorship letter and a recent bank statement of the sponsor if, self-sponsored (free movers)
  3. Pages of passport containing passport numbers, date of birth, expiry date etc. (certified by the embassy or commissioning offices)
  4. Sponsors letter of support
  5. Students request letter for a waiver
  6. Cover letter in support of the student’s application by the International Education & Partnerships Office

NB: Students are encouraged to keep their waivers with their passports at all times even when returning home after the completion of their study abroad as proof of validity of their stay in Botswana. Full degree seeking students and exchange students staying longer than 6 months should apply for a residence permit for the entire study period.

Study permit application/renewal, requirements:

  1. Copy of UB admission letter
  2. Copy of sponsorship letter and a recent bank statement of the sponsor, for self-sponsored students (at least 1 month bank statement)
  3. One passport photo with a white background
  4. Pages of passport, containing passport number date of birth, expiry date of a passport (certified by the embassy or commissioning offices)
  5. Copy of birth certificate - (certified by the embassy or commissioning offices)
  6. Payment of P1, 500.00 payable to the immigration office
  7. Cover letter in support of the student’s application by the International Education & Partnerships Office
  8. Copy of students’ UB financial statement (to be obtained from UB Finance office, Student Debtors department Block 139/144)

NB: It is advisable to bring certified/notarized copies of the above documents with you when travelling to Botswana to avoid any inconvenience.

OIEP will assist all international students with the application for a study permit or a waiver upon completion of academic registration.

When in Botswana, you are responsible for maintaining the validity of your study permit or residence waiver throughout your stay. The University of Botswana shall not be held liable or responsible for ones failure to comply with the state's immigration laws nor the rejection or granting of appropriate immigration status by the office in charge.

Arrival and transportation

Be advised to make your travel arrangements well on time to avoid any connection or long stopovers. The OIEP arranges for a shuttle service for new international students arriving at various ports of entry in Gaborone within 1 week at the beginning of every semester provided the office has received ones travel schedule at least 2 weeks before arrival for planning purposes. For shuttle space reservation contact: mokopotsag@ub.ac.bw and copy magetset@ub.ac.bw

NB: Kindly note that you will be responsible for organizing your own transport at the port of entry should you not communicate your arrival date on time or fail to arrive on the stipulated time which is between 08:00hrs and 16:00hrs (shuttle available from Monday to Friday except on public holidays and weekends). Private taxis are available at ports of entries at a cost. 

For more information contact:

Office of International Education & Partnerships
Block 139/ office 123
Tel: +267 355 5145
Email: magetset@ub.ac.bw  

In pursuit of academic excellence